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Thanksgiving travel means proceeding with extra caution

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Thanksgiving is one of the most traveled weeks in the nation. Whether it is a day trip to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with family or a family vacation over the extended school break, the West Fargo Police Department reminds you to buckle up, slow down and be prepared.

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Weather forecasts put the day time high temperatures in the fifties with a chance of moisture and lows in the thirties. Those familiar with our weather know this could mean frosty or ice covered road surfaces. Road surfaces will also vary greatly depending on their exposure to the sun.

As our weather can be unpredictable, check your winter survival kit, cold weather clothing and blankets before you leave home. Traffic crashes, flat tires or vehicle malfunctions are not planned events and could leave you exposed. Even a short period of time in the cold can become pretty miserable if you are not prepared.

Excess vehicle speeds and unrestrained occupants continue to be leading causes of death in motor vehicle crashes. Driving at speeds greater than what is safe for the existing conditions puts you and others at risk. Braking distances increase and the ability to correct a steering error is severely impaired when road surfaces are slick.

If you are in a motor vehicle crash your highest chance for survival is staying in place and within the vehicle. Vehicle occupants may become seriously injured when thrown against other object in the vehicle, including fellow passengers. Being thrown or partially ejected from the vehicle places you at risk of being crushed. The passenger cabin and safety restraints of your vehicle are designed to increase your chances of survival. Stay in place by buckling up.

Plan your trip to avoid early morning departures and late night returns. If necessary, consider taking a nap sometime during the day to ensure you can be well rested and alert for your drive. Avoid the use of alcohol or other drugs which may make you drowsy. Have a travel buddy who remains awake during your trip. Your travel buddy can monitor your driving and watch for signs of fatigue.

The West Fargo Police Department wishes you safe travel and an enjoyable Thanksgiving season.

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